When it comes to buying a horse, there are many methods to choose from. Classifieds, one-on-one sales, online sales and live sales all have their merits. Live sales are one method and often attract high-quality prospects and broodmares. Western Bloodstock is a sale company that produces live sales. Jeremy Barwick took over Western Bloodstock in 2013 and has made a few changes along the way to innovate the company.
Focused On Customer Service.
Horse sales are a challenging business, and Barwick says Western Bloodstock’s goal is to be at the forefront.
“My big thing is customer service,” Barwick says. “You stay ahead of everyone by having the best customer service there is.”
Including other attractions alongside a sale boosts attendance. Western Bloodstock has added ancillary activities to the sale schedules, which draws in more potential buyers.
“We’re a lot more than a horse sale — it’s actually become an event,” Barwick says. “We get tons of buyers and sellers, but a lot of people just want to come and watch. I think we do a pretty good job of producing it and making it a production, rather than a horse sale where you just lead horses in and out.”
More and more online sales are gaining traction, but Barwick still prefers an in-person sale.
“I still like a live horse sale where I can actually see that horse, touch that horse, talk to the people face to face about the horse,” Barwick says. “So, I think live sales that are well-produced will always take the lead over any sale.”
Even with an emphasis on live sales, the internet facilitates research with information like X-rays, pedigrees and videos. But still, Barwick says in-person discussion is your best bet.
“There’s a lot of info you can get before the sale if you do your homework,” Barwick says. “But you’ve got to be there in person to do some things. [It’s] the face-to-face contact with peo- ple having a conversation. You’re going to get a lot more information that way than just over the phone or reading a sale page.”
Buying At A Sale.
The most important thing you can do before buying a horse at a sale is research thoroughly, Barwick says.
“Do your homework,” he advises. “Whether you call me, and I help you do your homework, or you call the consignor and talk to them or the trainer if it’s a show horse. But definitely do that — don’t just blindly buy a horse. That’s like buying a used car over the telephone; it’s not a smart idea.”
Ensuring Future Success.
With increasing avenues to purchase horses, a good sale includes stellar horses and a seamless selling process. Barwick strives to produce sales that offers high quality horses and makes the buying experience a positive one for both sides of the purchase.
“As long as we continue doing our job and treating our customers right — our buyers and sellers — and making sure we have top-quality horses in those sales, I think we’ll continue to stay on top,” Barwick says. “It’s a constant hustle to do your job and make sure you go out and round up those top-quality horses. But to me, it’s all about the relationships you build with people. If you have good relationships with people, you’re going to have a good business.”